Orienteering race (JWOC) 1:32:48  ***** 8.26 km (11:14 / km) +170m 10:11 / km
spiked:12/18c slept:7.0 shoes: Standard White O-Shoes
JWOC Spectator Races: Stage 2 - Noskunu Miskas, Lithuania. H21S (i.e. M21L) 30C, sunny.
Just like the Scottish last year, I always seem to stumble on the second day of multi-day races. Today was the longest course of the week, it was much hotter than the previous day, and I had not been sensible at hydrating and eating enough before the race. Also, I made the worst mistake of the week - a 10 minute disaster in which I ran off the map. This mistake was very early on (2-3) and I only found the control by chance, as I was on my way to relocate!
I still had over 7km to run in very hot conditions and I was in trouble. I took a track around a long leg (7-8, over 1.5km) but failed to notice a closer track - the perfectly north-south tracks scattered through the area were seemingly invisible, my eyes automatically assuming they were gridlines. This long, hot route further dehydrated me, and a water stop didn't help too much. Just 1km from the end, I suddenly found I was completely unable to concentrate or hold a bearing. 14, 15 and 16 were a control pick. For some reason, I found 16 before 15, then after 15, I hit 14 while trying to find 16! So, I ended up going 14-16-15-14-16! I was getting extremely frustrated that I had already been to 16 but could not now find it. Four minutes were wasted in these two legs. My route to 17 was appaling - I was again completely un able to hold a bearing, and got my paths confused, getting dragged a long way off the line. Another four minute mistake. Finally, there was a long, physical leg to the last control, and I got stuck in thick green undergrowth, almost in sight of the finish!
Most of the others in JOK also struggled on this most difficult day, but Hedley had a great run and beat me by several minutes.